At last week’s debate in Charlestown between the candidates for the vacated Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex Senate District seat, Anthony Galluccio’s closing remarks took at shot at opponent Tim Flaherty. Galluccio said he had wanted the job “when it wasn’t a new and exciting time to be in Massachusetts politics.” We remember, of course, that Galluccio eyeballed the seat in 2006 before Senator Jarrett Barrios decided to run for reelection. Citing a lack of funds, Galluccio bowed out of the race. But not before his reputation crashed harder than his 2003 Accord surrounding his third DWI investigation.
One might recall Dave Wedge at the Herald reporting that Galluccio’s first DWI occurred in Cambridge in 1984. Fortunately, a governor’s pardon in 1993 wiped away the charge just in time for a bid at a Cambridge PD position, according to the Globe.
Four years later in 1997, Galluccio had another slip up, this time in Natick. He was charged with DWI, found at fault and lost his license for 120 days plus another 45 days once the case was continued without a finding. But since the 1984 incident had been pardoned, the Natick accident was not prosecuted as his second offense.
Galluccio flew under the radar for a while until his four-car crash on Congress St. in winter of 2005. Driving home one Saturday night at 2am, Galluccio rear-ended another car, causing a domino effect of cars stopped at a traffic light. Eyewitnesses to the accident described him as clearly intoxicated. One witness even recalls having to take the keys out of his car to prevent Galluccio from driving away from the scene. Galluccio filed a police report the next day, citing ice as the reason for his car’s lack of control. Janet Wu at Channel 5, who would later jumpstart the second investigation, reported that conditions that night were dry. But that’s okay. As David pointed out to us, Galluccio didn’t sign his report, anyway.
The case went virtually uncovered until a complaint was filed by the Boston PD after Galluccio was not charged with driving while impaired. Janet Wu’s investigation revealed that in addition to the handful of witnesses, two EMTs who responded to the accident both agreed that he was alcohol impaired, slurring speech and stumbling. The other item the EMTs agreed upon? Galluccio made it a point to tell them that he was a Cambridge City Councilor. Did he also notify the police when they arrived, in case the laminated placard displayed on his dashboard was not enough notice? Might that explain why Galluccio was never given a field-sobriety test?
In April 06, Clerk Magistrate Daniel Hogan decided Galluccio should not face charges. Hogan argued that the handful of eyewitnesses were not credible, and that testimony from the one EMT asked to testify was inconclusive, despite his opinion that Galluccio was “definitely alcohol-impaired.” The second EMT was not asked to testify.
Hogan said that he was not aware of Galluccio’s past incidents. In 2005, the year Galluccio was busted for the third time, there were 1.4 million arrests for DWI, less than 1% of the 159 million self-reported cases of drunk driving, according to the CDC. How often does one have to drive drunk to be busted three times? You do the math.
Politicians are people, too, and they of course make mistakes. But the third time Galluccio made the same potentially deadly decision, he was sure to announce his position in power with the city of Cambridge. Had he been the councilor from Roxbury or even Southie, would Galluccio have walked? What if he was just another guy coming home from the Foxy Lady? What’s important here is not just the history of reckless judgment shown by Galluccio, but also his manipulation and abuse of his position to weasel out of these indefensible actions. Galluccio’s lawyers were right about one thing- enough is enough. We may not have been able to keep his car keys away from him forever, but we can certainly make sure he doesn’t get the keys to the State House.